Combating Antisemitism

 

What is Antisemitism?

Modern Antisemitism appears in many different forms and is not always easy to unmask. In May 2016 the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance adopted by unanimity a legally non-binding working definition of Antisemitism. The European Commission welcomes any useful tool for civil society, law enforcement authorities and education facilities to effectively recognise and fight all forms of Antisemitism.

Resolution on combating Antisemitism adopted by the European Parliament on 1 June 2017

Holocaust Remembrance and education

The Holocaust is a defining legacy of European History and remembrance of the Shoah an important instrument in the prevention of Antisemitism. The European Commission commemorates every year on 27 January the International Holocaust Remembrance Day with training for EU officials, exhibitions and dedicated events. Please find the events of Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017 here.

Under the Europe for Citizens Programme, the European Commission supports initiatives that raise awareness of remembrance, common history and values of the European Union and to commemorate the victims with 35 million €.

Please find relevant material for teaching the Holocaust created by the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) here:

Education is key to prevent Antisemitism

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, EU Education Ministers adopted on 17 March 2015 the Paris Declaration on Promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education.

Jewish life has always been an integral part of European society, history and culture. Including a more holistic approach in education on Jewish History and Jewish contribution to Europe can help to prevent negative stereotypes and bias against Jews and build up solid resilience against Antisemitism in society. The European Commission supports civil society to “teach the teachers” to address their own biases, and equip them for teaching about Judaism in a multicultural class room.

On 14 June 2016, the Commission set out a number of initiatives to support Member States in their efforts across several policy areas, from promoting inclusive education and common values, to tackling extremist propaganda online and radicalisation in prisons. 400 million € Erasmus+ funding support transnational projects promoting social inclusion, our shared values and intercultural understanding and further 13 million € grassroots initiatives, including education targeting specific groups and their biases. In June 2016, the European Commission adopted an action plan to improve the integration of newcomers in European societies. Integration is a two-way process which includes expectations towards newcomers to embrace EU fundamental values, including no tolerance towards Antisemitism.

European Legislation combating Antisemitism

Holocaust denial and antisemitic hate speech inciting to violence and hatred is outlawed in Europe. The aim of the Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia (2008) is to fight against illegal hate speech and crime, by means of criminal law. The Commission is committed to monitoring closely its implementation at the national level. EU countries were obliged to transpose the Framework Decision into their national laws by 28 November 2010. The Commission published its first implementation report in January 2014 together with an Annex  summarising national transposition measures and data on application of the Framework Decision submitted by the Member States.

Code of Conduct to combat illegal hate speech online

In order to fight illegal hate speech online, including antisemitic hate speech, the Commission together with major IT Companies agreed on 31 May 2016 on a code of conduct. The code establishes among others that IT companies will review the majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to such content, if necessary.  Progress is regularly reported back to the High Level group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance. On 6 December 2016 the European Commission published the first implementation report. The second implementation report was released on 1st June 2017.

High Level group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance

On 14 June 2016, the European Commission launched the High Level Group on combating Racism, Xenophobia and other forms of Intolerance to step up cooperation and coordination, to better prevent and combat hate crime and hate speech.  It brings together all 28 EU Member States, international organisations and civil society organisations. The Commission asked the EU Fundamental Rights Agency to coordinate a Sub-group that will work to develop methodologies for recording and collecting data on hate crime.

 

  On Yom Kippur, 30 September, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans met with the Latvian-Jewish community and visited the memorial to the Righteous among the Nations Zanis Lipke in Riga.
  Message  (FR, DE) from First Vice-President Frans Timmermans to the Jewish Community in Europe, on the occasion of Rosh-Hashana, 20 September 2017.
  Listen to a podcast interview from Daniel S. Mariaschin, CEO of B'nai B'rith International, to Katharina von Schnurbein.
 

Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourová spoke at the 11th EU - Israel seminar on combating Racism, Xenophobia and Antisemitism, Jerusalem, 25 June 2017.

Please find here a clip

 

 

On 30 May 2017, the European Commission, the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Group, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the European External Action Service, organised a  Joint Day of Action against Antisemitism, anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination. Among the events, the public presentation of OSCE/ODIHR’s new publication: “Understanding Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes and Addressing the Security Needs of Jewish Communities – a Practical Guide” and a joint Shavuot and Iftar dinner.

 
  Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourová addressing the European Parliament on the Resolution on Combating Antisemitism, 31 May 2017.
  The EC Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism spoke at the Seminar on Combating Antisemitic Hate Speech (organised by the Council of Europe - No Hate Speech Movement Youth Campaign ) in Strasbourg, 10 May 2017. Link to the European Commission's  web page dedicated to combating hate speech online.
  Speaking at the 60th anniversary of the Conference of European Rabbis, Amsterdam, 8 May 2017.
  The EC Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism met the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki on 3-4 May 2017. In the picture: the the Holocaust Memorial in the centre of the city.
  Meeting Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress.
  Speaking at the 15th Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress, New York City, 23-25 April 2017.
 

Discussing Antisemitism in Poland with eminent experts and Holocaust survivor Marian Turski 27-30 March 2017.

 

In the middle of society: Maccabi Germany opening its offices in Frankfurt in the Premises of the German Sports Association, Frankfurt 17 March 2017.

 

Joining the Delegation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in meetings with Bulgarian authorities and the Jewish Community of Sofia 8-10 March 2017.

 

Katharina von Schnurbein, EC Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism, and Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Director-General of the Council of Europe, 14 February 2017, Strasbourg.

The EC Coordinator visited the Council of Europe on 14-15 February 2017 to strengthen the cooperation in the fight against Antisemitism.

 

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Johannes Hahn and the European Commission Representation in Austria participated in the #WeRemember Campaign.

  We remember - photo collage The European Commission staff supported the #WeRemember campaign launched by the World Jewish Congress.
 

Speech ( video recording) by Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, at the opening of an exhibition by Mémorial de la Shoah on Auschwitz-Birkenau in the Berlaymont, European Commission Headquarters, 30 January 2017.

Please find here the programme.

Please see the picture gallery.

  Please find here a message by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017.
 

Full house at a debate with Professor Deborah Lipstadt and First Vice-President Frans Timmermans following the screening of the film "Denial", 26 January 2017.

For a clip 

 

Commissioner Věra Jourová speaks at the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017.

Read the full speech here

  EU Commission Coordinator on combating Antisemitism Katharina von Schnurbein in a TV discussion from the European Parliament premises on Holocaust Remembrance and the fight against Antisemitism. Watch the debate here.
 

Speech of Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, at the Inauguration of Rabbi Cohen, Maastricht, 22 January 2017.

  credits: Karl Gabor, Stockholm                  

Listen to a podcast  by Katharina von Schnurbein, Coordinator on combating Antisemitism in cooperation with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum  on the situation of Antisemitism in Europe today and actions taken by the European Commission to fight it. (Photo: Karl Gabor, Stockholm)

  Joint Statement on the occasion of the 10th EU - Israel Seminar on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Antisemitism, 13 and 14 December 2016, Jerusalem.
 

Messagepdf(50 kB) from First Vice-President Frans Timmermans to the Jewish Community in Europe, on the occasion of Rosh-Hashana, 30 September 2016.

 

Speechpdf(98 kB) of First Vice-President Frans Timmermans at the International Parliamentary Conference on Combating Antisemitism, 14 March 2016, Berlin

The European Commission organised on 27 January 2016 several actions to commemorate the Holocaust: in particular, a training seminar for officials from all EU institutions focused on Fundamental Rights and Holocaust remembrance, closed by Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.

On the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016, the Permament Delegation of the European Union to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva organised - among other initiatives - a photo exhibition named "The Family Camppdf", in collaboration with the Permanent Missions of the Czech Republic and Poland and curated by the Terezin Memorial Museum.

Message by President Jean-Claude Junckerpdf(43 kB)  to the Jewish community on the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016.

The European Commission appoints Ms Katharina von Schnurbein as Coordinator on combating antisemitism, 1 December 2015.

Article by First Vice-President Timmermans and Věra Jourovápdf(298 kB), Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality: Fighting antisemitism and safeguarding European values, 10 July 2015

Closing remarks of First Vice-President Timmermans at the LIBE hearing on antisemitism, Islamophobia and hate speech, European Parliament, 29 June 2015

First Vice-President Timmermans' speech "Freedom. So what?" at the Willem Arondéus lecture, 11 June 2015

Speech of Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality: Tackling hate speech and antisemitism, 11 May 2015

Speech of Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality: Combating antisemitism, a defining moment for Europe, 5 May 2015

Extract from First Vice-President Timmermans' remarks at the press conference, General Affairs Council, Luxembourg, 21 April 2015

Speech of First Vice-President Timmermans at the Dutch Buchenwald commemoration (transcript), 11 April 2015

Address of First Vice-President Timmermans at the memorial ceremony for the victims of the Paris terror attacks, Brussels, 21 January 2015

Speech of Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission, at the Seminar on Europe - Against Antisemitism, for a Union of Diversity, Brussels, 19 February 2004

Data collection

Discrimination and hate crime against Jews in EU Member States: experiences and perceptions of antisemitism, November 2013. This FRA survey is the first-ever to collect comparable data on Jewish people’s experiences and perceptions of antisemitism, hate-motivated crime and discrimination across a number of EU Member States, specifically in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Its findings reveal a worrying level of discrimination, particularly in employment and education, a widespread fear of victimisation and heightening concern about antisemitism online.

European Commission – Israel seminars on racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism

7th Seminar with Israel on the fight against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, Brussels, 16 December 2013

8th Seminar with Israel on the fight against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, Jerusalem, 27 October 2014

9th Seminar with Israel on the fight against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, Brussels, 17 December 2015

10th Seminar with Israel on the fight against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, Jerusalem, 13 and 14 December 2016

Annual Fundamental Rights Colloquium

Tolerance and respect: preventing and combating antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred in Europe, Brussels, 1-2 October 2015